Obama: Big Brother

Tracking cell phones is now something the Obama administration wants to do.

Even though police are tapping into the locations of mobile phones thousands of times a year, the legal ground rules remain unclear, and federal privacy laws written a generation ago are ambiguous at best. On Friday, the first federal appeals court to consider the topic will hear oral arguments (PDF) in a case that could establish new standards for locating wireless devices.

In that case, the Obama administration has argued that warrantless tracking is permitted because Americans enjoy no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in their–or at least their cell phones’–whereabouts. U.S. Department of Justice lawyers say that “a customer’s Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the phone company reveals to the government its own records” that show where a mobile device placed and received calls.

Those claims have alarmed the ACLU and other civil liberties groups, which have opposed the Justice Department’s request and plan to tell the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia that Americans’ privacy deserves more protection and judicial oversight than what the administration has proposed.

“This is a critical question for privacy in the 21st century,” says Kevin Bankston, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who will be arguing on Friday. “If the courts do side with the government, that means that everywhere we go, in the real world and online, will be an open book to the government unprotected by the Fourth Amendment.”

Well cool, if the Obama Adminsitration has its way they will know where you are so long as you have your cell phone with you. Isn’t that nice to know that your big brother is monitoring your where abouts at all times? Next up, remote activation of your cell phones video capabilities to make sure you aren’t doing something you shouldn’t be doing. Wish I were kidding with that last one, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some people actually think this way.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Government, Law and the Courts, US Politics
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. mpw280 says:

    Yeah they got the idea from Dark Knight, now they just need the computers to make it work. Too bad they won’t be as ethical as Batman was about what to do with it. mpw

  2. J.W. Hamner says:

    If you look at the main attraction of mobile Google Buzz, it’s going to be essentially tweeting with your GPS attached… so I expect that, yes, there is no “reasonable expectation” of privacy with that info… or at least not with anyone under 30. It’s a brave new world.

  3. Richard Bottoms says:

    Hmm, I seem to remember a president who was gung-ho about warrant-less phone taps and surveillance while an entire political party was painted as unpatriotic for even suggesting the FBI and intelligence agencies ought to use existing law to ask the intelligence court to obtain such warrants instead.

    Who could that be? I suppose I could remember if I had Total Information Awareness. Darn.

    Remember kiddies, GOP presidents sifting through your phone records good (9/11, 9/11, 9/11) , Democrats bad (Waco/Ruby Ridge).

  4. steve says:

    There should be warrants. However, isnt there an IPhone app that lets you see where your friends are using GPS? It seems like the expectation of privacy in this area is a little gray.

    Steve

  5. Richard Bottoms says:

    There should be warrants. However, isnt there an IPhone app that lets you see where your friends are using GPS? It seems like the expectation of privacy in this area is a little gray.

    And I fully expect that like any president Obama is asking for the moon because who knows, the court might say yes.

    The reality is the intelligence panel has never turned down any request that was made by the government and exigent circumstances cover any 72 hour period that they need to get started on something critical.

    All they need to get a tap is to ask for it. No judge post 9/11 is going to say no.

    What Obama can’t have politically, if there is another attack is to have not tried for unlimited authority.

  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    I don’t see the gray here. If I want to reveal my location to friends using a GPS app (and in what universe would that happen?) that is in no way, shape or form inviting the USG to keep track of my whereabouts.

    It was wrong when Bush was trying this crap and it’s wrong now.

    Go to a court, get a warrant. Build in some carefully defined, limited duration exigent circumstances bypass for use in terror cases, but this is still the United States, we still have a constitution, it still limits the government’s right to monitor us, and if I want the FBI to know where I am, well, no doubt there’s an app for that.

  7. Richard Bottoms says:

    It was wrong when Bush was trying this crap and it’s wrong now.

    True, but since the idea that all Obama supporters thought he believed himself to Jesus was Right Wing crap, I am not shocked that much of what he does is no different than his predecessor.

    It’s the parts where I require him to be different that matter. Like competently running wars, the economy and responding to natural disasters. That he wants his FBI and CIA to push the envelope is not the least bit surprising.

    However, thanks to the liberals we Democrats have kindly put on the court, over conservative objections of course, SCOTUS will do you the service of protecting your civil rights.

    Such as when your name is Miranda or Escobido.

  8. J.W. Hamner says:

    I don’t think it’s right, but I think it’s going to be fairly normal to have your GPS location attached to everything you comment or tweet in the very near future… and that’s not Obama’s fault, but your kids. Privacy norms are changing rapidly.

  9. Alex Knapp says:

    Is it really THAT much trouble to get a warrant? Good lord…

  10. Richard Bottoms says:

    Is it really THAT much trouble to get a warrant? Good lord…

    I am shocked to find out a president doesn’t like his powers limited or his options curtailed.

    Especially if he’ll get hammered if say invasive full body scanners aren’t available to look inside your rectum for explosives, that is when TSA employees aren’t sharing Angelina Jolie’s naked scans at the office Christmas party.

    Surprise, Obama is a politician who wants to be able to cut corners if he has to.

    I hope, and am sure he’ll lose this one and it may be my own prejudice that when he does abuse the power anyway or slices semantics as all president do, it won’t be for stupid, petty evil reasons.

    Republicans of course are suddenly interested in the rule of law, civil liberties and due process because their guy is not in charge and you can’t have ObamaHitlerMao with these kinds of dictatorial powers because he’ll turn us all over the the Blue Helmets.

    We’ll see.

  11. anjin-san says:

    A VERY disappointing position for the Obama administration to take. This is absolutely NOT the change I voted for. Reconsider this one please.

  12. sam says:

    The best guy I know of on the 4th Amendment is Orin Kerr over at the Volokh Conspiracy. Here’s Orin’s take on the issue, discussing relevant SCOTUS cases:

    Does the Fourth Amendment Prohibit Warrantless GPS Surveillance?

  13. Maggie Mama says:

    Anjin-san, this may not be the change you voted for but since Obama spoke in generalities you shouldn’t be surprised.

    I think back to that video of the woman declaring she would never have to worry about paying her mortgage or buying gas.

    Can you finally admit that many voters for Obama were sucked into his CULT and now discover he isn’t the messiah they wanted.

    Sorry, it’s just not a true religion, guys.

  14. Ben says:

    Maggie, give me a break. Not everyone who voted for Obama thought he was the freakin messiah. Maybe some of us just thought he’d be a president who cared a bit more about certain things that Democrats are usually better on, such as civil liberties, than Herr Bush was.

  15. Franklin says:

    I expect privacy when I use my cell phone. Is that or is that not reasonable?

  16. PD Shaw says:

    I don’t own a cell phone. I’m freakin’ invisible!!!

  17. Franklin says:

    Maggie,

    You’re stupid. That said, we knew going in that McCain would likely continue these types of Constitutional violations since he surrounded himself with neoconservatives, who aren’t actually conservative at all. With Obama, there was at least a chance that he would honor the 4th amendment. We were wrong, but at least we gave it a shot.

  18. C-Red says:

    The full article is a good read, but a little vague. They distinguish between “prospective location data” and “respective location data” which is actively pinging the a persons location vs. looking at where they made a call from. If you made a call from a landline phone, then your location would be determined, so I don’t see how the respective wireless data could be considered particularly private…but there still should be an established reason why investigators would want it before it is granted (i.e. a warrant.)

    I can’t really imagine wireless carriers agreeing to hand over records easily without some sort of warrant, they have to protect themselves. Particularly after 2008 and wiretap revelations.

    This case was started a couple years ago and has been being built since before Obama became president. I could be wrong, but I would suspect the Justice Department is using pre-present administration guidelines, which isn’t to say the current administration doesn’t need to review it and, preferably, say no way.

  19. tom p says:

    Obama’s positions on these kinds of things is “I won’t abuse these powers… Trust me.”

    Sorry. I don’t trust anyone that much.

  20. anjin-san says:

    Can you finally admit that many voters for Obama were sucked into his CULT and now discover he isn’t the messiah they wanted.

    Sorry Maggie, you just sound like an idiot here.

  21. Bill H says:

    Well, if I get carjacked, for instance, or if I have a stroke and go missing for a day and no one knows where I am, it would seem to me that it would be beneficial that there is no hindrance when my family goes into a police station and says, “We can’t find Uncle Bill.”

  22. anjin-san says:

    Well, if I get carjacked, for instance, or if I have a stroke and go missing for a day and no one knows where I am

    Your right. Maybe the government should just put cameras in your home in case you have a stroke & are out on the floor. Then you can have a GPS device surgically implanted. Just in case, you know. Because a carjacker who knows he can be tracked would never say “throw your phone out the window or I will shoot you”.

  23. Steve Verdon says:

    I don’t see the gray here. If I want to reveal my location to friends using a GPS app (and in what universe would that happen?) that is in no way, shape or form inviting the USG to keep track of my whereabouts.

    Agreed.

    It was wrong when Bush was trying this crap and it’s wrong now.

    Agreed.

    Go to a court, get a warrant. Build in some carefully defined, limited duration exigent circumstances bypass for use in terror cases, but this is still the United States, we still have a constitution, it still limits the government’s right to monitor us, and if I want the FBI to know where I am, well, no doubt there’s an app for that.

    Agreed. Go to court, lay out the case for why you need access, get access to get the job done, get out.

  24. Eric Florack says:

    It was wrong when Bush was trying this crap and it’s wrong now.

    Agreed.

    Well, now wait. When The Bush administation was doing it it was limited to international calls.
    What Obama and company propose is the ability to tap domestic calls… involving by intent, American citizenry…. a much different thing.

    Further, if you look at the case in question involved the purely domestic crime of bank robbery, and had nothing to do with international terrorism.

    Tell us Steve; do you really regard such a case as equal to international terrorism?

  25. Steve Verdon says:

    Tell us Steve; do you really regard such a case as equal to international terrorism?

    False dichotomy.

    I oppose the notion of warrantless phone tapping for international calls or any calls what-so-ever.

    If our government decides to ignore the rules, then I want that same damn right and want to send the IRS a ten pound box of dog feces vs. a check this year.

    Further, if you look at the case in question involved the purely domestic crime of bank robbery, and had nothing to do with international terrorism.

    Uhhhmmm no. That was the lead into the story. The bigger issue is being able to do what was done in the bank robbery case without warrants. That is where I draw the line. Sure, if you got a good reason to look, go to a judge, lay out the case, ask for the warrant.

    I’ll also add the getting a warrant is, generally, laughably easy. Look at the Kathryn Johnston case. Cops got a warrant for a no-knock raid by making sh*t up. This notion that going to get warrants means the country is going to burn is just complete errant nonsense.

    Really.

    Your right. Maybe the government should just put cameras in your home in case you have a stroke & are out on the floor. Then you can have a GPS device surgically implanted. Just in case, you know. Because a carjacker who knows he can be tracked would never say “throw your phone out the window or I will shoot you”.

    Right! This is just nonsense. If you are this worried about things, stop getting out of bed and pull the sheets over your head. There are risks in life. HTFU.

  26. Eric Florack says:

    I oppose the notion of warrantless phone tapping for international calls or any calls what-so-ever.

    Fine.Argue that on a moral basis if you will… I think it foolhardy, but have a go, by all means.

    But don’t try to tell us about how you’re arguing from constitutional ground… it doesn’t apply here, given we are talking about people who are not citizens. (Whereas of course the people Obama wants to monitor are in fact citizens.)

    Further, the issue of wiretaps, in terms of the constitution is far from settled law, particularly where cell phones are concerned.

    I warned about this in a Nightly Ramble I wrote a couple years ago. At the time, I pointed out that the government would eventually argue (again) that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on a cell phone, given that it uses the electromagnetic spectrum. The government, you see, assumes that electromagnetic spectrum is government property. This concept, of course, flies directly in the face of the original precepts of the communications act of 1933. I forget the passage but when read literally, that act could easily be read into making telling your wife what your mother-in-law just said on the phone a jailable offense.

    Obvioulsy, we’ve moved away from that to a large degree. OTOH, I’ll point out that this is an evolutionary process, given Olmstead v United States (1928) …in which the court held that wiretapping of phone lines does not constitute unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment.

    You’ve researched all this, I will assume?

    On the idea you might not have, here you are…According to the court at the time actual physical intrusion into a given area…( say, a trespass…) is required to go over that Fourth Amendment line, not merely voice amplification at some remote location.

    So now comes the Obama administration, champions of individual freedom that they are, arguing all of this all over again, before the Third Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

    Uhhhmmm no. That was the lead into the story.

    More than just the lead in, that is the case currently being argued before the Third circuit.

  27. Eric Florack says:

    I expect privacy when I use my cell phone. Is that or is that not reasonable?

    Given the technology involved, it’s unreasonable.

  28. sam says:

    I expect privacy when I use my cell phone. Is that or is that not reasonable?

    Given the technology involved, it’s unreasonable.

    I for one would like to know where Bit is every moment of every day.

  29. Eric Florack says:

    I think you misunderstand my response.

    The question didn’t specify privacy from what source. I take it you assumed the government listening in. But allow me to point out that they’re hardly the only point of intrusion.

    On an all-inclusive basis then, my answer makes sense from a techno point of view. As the case of the RNCC conference call being taped a few years back, shows clearly, such calls can be received by about anyone with sufficient technology at their disposal.

    Therefore the assumption of privacy is misguided at best.

  30. anjin-san says:

    What Obama and company propose is the ability to tap domestic calls…

    Funny, I though we were talking about tracking peoples locations via the GPS functionality built into cell phones.

  31. Eric Florack says:

    As I gather it, there’s no distinction in the law currently between those two activities,a nd the rules are even more unclear than in the case of voice comms.

    It gets even more complex given the technology for E911 is already in place. (If you don’t understand that comment, I suggest you look into how E911 works)

  32. Michael Reynolds says:

    I just want to say how appalled I am that we have this casual dismissal of things I thought were pretty fundamental.

    1) Where we are, and what we are saying, is not the business of the government unless the government can make a case to a court. This isn’t controversial, or shouldn’t be. My life? Not their business, unless they have compelling reason to believe I’m engaged in criminal behavior and can manage to convince a judge.

    2) Legal rights in this country apply to anyone in this country, not just citizens. (In fact we regularly assert that similar rights should be universal.) So if the FBI pulls a guy off a plane in Detroit he has rights. And it doesn’t matter if he’s a Nigerian with exploding underwear.

    3) We don’t torture. We don’t torture and pretend it’s not torture. There are legal reasons for this, but I’ll just state a non-legal reason: because we’re the Americans, we’re not the North Koreans or the Iranians or the Chinese. We’re the Americans. Jesus Christ, we actually have to discuss this?

    4) We don’t get to assassinate Americans in foreign countries, no, not even if we’re pretty sure they’re terrorists. Can we blow up the terrorist standing next to them? Sure, and gosh it’ll be a shame if we blow up the US citizen, too. But actually paint a target on the back of a US citizen and drop the hammer on him? A fine point? Maybe. But there’s a point at which we become umbrella-wielding Bulgarians (look it up, you youngsters) and that’s not where we want to be.

    I would have thought conservatives would join with liberals in denouncing these expansions of executive power. But the conservatives rolled over for Bush and now it seems at least some liberals will roll over for Obama.

  33. anjin-san says:

    It gets even more complex given the technology for E911 is already in place. (If you don’t understand that comment, I suggest you look into how E911 works)

    Uh, bisty? I used to work for Airtouch, then Verizon Wireless. If you want to impress people, why don’t you tell us again about how you are the only one around with a dedicated music server 🙂

  34. anjin-san says:

    Michael, let me tell you a little about Eric, the ranter formerly know as bithead. He basically lives in abject fear of terrorists. He has treated us all to some delightful diatribes about how a lack of vigilance on the part of liberals will lead to us all winding up on our knees being converted at the point of a sword. How exactly these hoards of evil Muslims will actually get to America, or how a guy with a sword would deal with my gun collection and steady aim is unclear. What is clear is that there is pretty much nothing that young bitsy will not condone to “keep him safe”. Torture? You betcha!

  35. anjin-san says:

    It’s such a classic, we just have to bring it back:

    I’m likely the only guy you know has a whole server dedicated to music.

    Posted by Bithead | April 29, 2009 | 02:31 pm

  36. Eric Florack says:

    Uh, bisty? I used to work for Airtouch, then Verizon Wireless.

    Then you of all people should have been in the response stream saying that an expectation of privacy on a cell phone is unrealistic.

    Oh… And… Anjin? I also used to work for Verizon.

  37. Eric Florack says:

    Legal rights in this country apply to anyone in this country, not just citizens.

    Not true, nor should it be. If you’re not willing to sign on for the responsibilities involved with the constitution, you should not expect to reap its benefits. That’s particularly true if you’re declaring war on us.

    We don’t torture.

    Correct. We do not. Nor have we.

  38. Eric Florack says:

    Michael, let me tell you a little about Eric, the ranter formerly know as bithead. He basically lives in abject fear of terrorists. He has treated us all to some delightful diatribes about how a lack of vigilance on the part of liberals will lead to us all winding up on our knees being converted at the point of a sword.

    Well, let’s give this Anjin bed wetting all the attention it deserves. In other words, let’s ignore it.

    That said, perhaps it’s time to examine what Anjin is supporting.

    Anjin, you see, along with many others like him, seem to feel that the Islamist terrorist problem can be handled in our criminal justice system… the civilian criminal justice system. History disagrees.

    As I recently wrote at Pajamas Media, like the Clinton administration, the Obama administration has approached al-Qaeda’s war on us thinking that it could be contained and dealt with in the civilian criminal justice system. We don’t, in other words, need to treat this as a war. We may or may not have returned officially to the Gorelick policy, but we returned to the attitude which gave us the policy when we put Democrats back in charge of the executive branch.

    Granted that two data points may not prove a trend, but there’s one more puzzle piece on this line: 9/11 wasn’t the first attack on the World Trade Center. The first one occurred under Bill Clinton in 1993. Starting a war was exactly al-Qaeda’s purpose then. Despite this, Bill Clinton decided to not treat it as a war. Instead, the perpetrators of that attack were considered to be a band of outlaws to be dealt with by our criminal justice system and diplomacy.

    Granted that two data points may not prove a trend, but there’s one more puzzle piece on this line: 9/11 wasn’t the first attack on the World Trade Center. The first one occurred under Bill Clinton in 1993. Starting a war was exactly al-Qaeda’s purpose then. Despite this, Bill Clinton decided to not treat it as a war. Instead, the perpetrators of that attack were considered to be a band of outlaws to be dealt with by our criminal justice system and diplomacy.

    Clinton hailed the arrest and conviction of the masterminds involved with that 1993 plot and apparently considered it a closed case, ignoring the larger network of thugs still poised and equipped to attack us. The overall feeling projected by the White House was that we didn’t need worry about terrorism anymore, because we’d made an example of the criminals we managed to catch. Certainly this made Clinton’s leftist base feel good and made him popular enough among his base to win a second term. But I daresay that the second World Trade Center attack on 9/11 was the direct result of that mistaken approach and that, obviously, terrorism had not been contained by Clinton’s approach.

    The Democrats didn’t learn from that mistake. That point was driven home soundly when President Obama tried to mimic Bill Clinton’s strategy on terrorism, and the results were predictable. IE; The only reason that they didn’t have to pick pieces of plane and people out of the tarmac in Detroit is because the detonator failed,not because of the effectiveness of our criminal justice system. Yet here we see Anjin, defending this dependence on the civilian criminal justice system for our defense against terrorism because as Jamie Gorelick says… “the system worked”.

    Yeah, right.

    The real lesson here is that in trying to avoid a war to keep the political left happy at home, both Democrat administration’s Clinton and Obama have succeeded in widening it. That’s a lesson they refuse to learn, no matter how many people it gets killed. Maybe it’s time we started treating this thing like a war , since it has become blatantly clear that the only way to peace is winning the damned war.

    All that aside and back to the point… perhaps one of you can explain to me how what the Obama Administration is arguing for.. domestic wiretappig for non-terrorism activity, has anything to do with Bush using FOREIGN wiretaps against foreign terrorism? I kinda doubt it.

  39. Eric Florack says:

    sorry for the editing error

  40. anjin-san says:

    Then you of all people should have been in the response stream saying that an expectation of privacy on a cell phone is unrealistic.

    I guess you are just too stupid to realize that wiretaps are not the subject of discussion here, tracking peoples location via GPS is.

    Anjin, you see, along with many others like him, seem to feel that the Islamist terrorist problem can be handled in our criminal justice system… the civilian criminal justice system. History disagrees.

    Ummm. Dipwad? Everybody here knows that I have been vocal in my support of the war in Afghanistan on many occasions. I know making crap up is about the best you can do, but it is still annoying. What I do oppose is our using torture and maintaining Gulags.

    Obama administration has approached al-Qaeda’s war on us thinking that it could be contained and dealt with in the civilian criminal justice system.

    This explains his expansion of the war in Afghanistan.

    let’s ignore it

    You want to run away from your own rants? I guess I can understand that.

    The first one occurred under Bill Clinton in 1993.

    Yes, and the people behind it answered for their crime. Would that Mr. Bush had done as well with Bin Laden and Mullah Omar.

    Yet here we see Anjin, defending this dependence on the civilian criminal justice system for our defense against terrorism

    Fine. Now show us where I ever said that our criminal justice system should be our only tool to fight terrorism. Failing that, please man up and admit that you are just making things up as you go along and attributing them to me.

  41. anjin-san says:

    Well, let’s give this Anjin bed wetting

    Guess we will have to take a moment to explain things to the slow kid.

    Being prepared to defend your home and family with force (my position) – not bed wetting.

    Being prepared to shred the constitution and use torture because terrorists really scare the crap out of you (bitsy’s positon) – bed wetting.

    Ok, thats enough said about that. Change your pants and run along skippy.

  42. anjin-san says:

    US Marines, Afghan troops launch attack on biggest Taliban-held town in the south

    ALFRED de MONTESQUIOU and CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA
    AP News

    Feb 12, 2010 17:52 EST

    Helicopter-borne U.S. Marines and Afghan troops swooped down on the Taliban-held town of Marjah before dawn Saturday, launching a long-expected attack to re-establish government control and undermine support for the militants in their southern heartland.

    The attack on Marjah climaxed the biggest joint Afghan-international offensive of the war and is the largest combat operation since President Barack Obama ordered 30,000 U.S. reinforcements here last December to turn the tide of the war.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_AFGHANISTAN?SITE=NEYOR&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

  43. Eric Florack says:

    I guess you are just too stupid to realize that wiretaps are not the subject of discussion here, tracking peoples location via GPS is.

    Again, at the moment there’s no legal difference between the two.

    Ummm. Dipwad? Everybody here knows that I have been vocal in my support of the war in Afghanistan on many occasions.

    And that has what, exactly, to do with the subject at hand?

    This explains his expansion of the war in Afghanistan.

    No, but this does.

    Being prepared to defend your home and family with force (my position) – not bed wetting.

    LOL! You don’t see the problem, here?

    What force, pray, tall, do you propose to employ, since the government has regulated your second amendment rights to meaninglessness? Funny thing; I don’t see you commenting on Gregory Girard’s case, for example.

    Yes, and the people behind it answered for their crime.

    A few did. But despite the claims of the left to that effect, the terrorists were not contained. The Clinton administration and now the Obama administration, failed … by DESIGN… at it’s first duty… keeping our citizens safe from foreign attack.

    Fine. Now show us where I ever said that our criminal justice system should be our only tool to fight terrorism.

    At what point have you ever backed taking terrorists out of the civilian criminal justice system and into the military courts where they belong?

  44. anjin-san says:

    Again, at the moment there’s no legal difference between the tw

    Perhaps not. But we are discussing GPS. From the end user perspective there is a difference between the two technologies that creates a different expectation of privacy.

    And that has what, exactly, to do with the subject at hand?

    You keep peddling the BS that I want to treat terrorism strictly as a criminal justice problem . Stop lying about my position and this topic can be taken off the table “Anjin, you see, along with many others like him, seem to feel that the Islamist terrorist problem can be handled in our criminal justice system”

    What force, pray, tall, do you propose to employ

    I dunno. My Baretta 9mm, Perhaps the Browning. More accurate. The FN shotgun maybe? It would depend on the situation.

    The Clinton administration and now the Obama administration, failed … by DESIGN… at it’s first duty… keeping our citizens safe from foreign attack

    I notice you left out the failure of the Bush admin on 9/11. Pretty clear you have a political agenda here, not a national security agenda.

    At what point have you ever backed taking terrorists out of the civilian criminal justice system and into the military courts where they belong?

    Let me clarify my position. I support military action and covert action employing lethal force against terrorists that are declared enemies of our country. I support trying people who commit crimes in this county (such as trying to blow up a plane) as criminals in our existing criminal justice system. I feel that enemies of our country that are captured in battle should be subject to military justice. That means getting them into the military justice system, ascertaining if they are, in fact enemies, and trying and punishing them if they are.

    I have never said that terrorism is a law enforcement problem only, which is basically the position you are trying to attribute to me. Once again, show us where I took that position, or man up and admit you are lying about what I have said.

    Yet here we see Anjin, defending this dependence on the civilian criminal justice system for our defense against terrorism

    Our criminal justice system is one tool. Our military justice system another, as is military force and covert force and intelligence. We need to use all of our tools as is appropriate. So bitsy, stop lying about what my position is and TRY to create a coherent argument in favor of your own.

  45. anjin-san says:

    No, but this does.

    A link to YOUR website? LOL.

    Obama made clear his support of military action in Afghanistan long before he took office. He also made it clear that he supported using the necessary force to get the job done (something that Bush did not do as he was sidetracked chasing windmills in Iraq).

    Obama is trying to win the war was Bush was losing when he left office. Just one more fracking disaster that Obama inherited and now has to try to clean up.

  46. Eric Florack says:

    A link to YOUR website? LOL.

    No. Do try again. You may want to actually read what’s said this time.

    Obama made clear his support of military action in Afghanistan long before he took office.

    Only insofar as pitching it as a false choice between Iraq and Afghanistan for the purposes of politics. Then once getting into office went about short-changing the troops he asks to fight.

    Obama is trying to win the war was Bush was losing when he left office.

    I find his level of commitment in Afghanistan is wanting. And Anjin? He’s trying to take credit for the victory in Iraq… (shake of the head)

  47. Eric Florack says:

    Perhaps not. But we are discussing GPS. From the end user perspective there is a difference between the two technologies that creates a different expectation of privacy.

    Apparently not, to hear the leftie sites arguing about it… the few that aren’t totally Obama-tanked at least.

    I notice you left out the failure of the Bush admin on 9/11.

    Not at all. I note now as then it was a continuation of Clinton policy. A policy that ended on 9/12… a change the Democrats reverse as soon as they had the chance. A move I see no disapproval of from you.

    Let me clarify my position. I support military action and covert action employing lethal force against terrorists that are declared enemies of our country. I support trying people who commit crimes in this county (such as trying to blow up a plane) as criminals in our existing criminal justice system. I feel that enemies of our country that are captured in battle should be subject to military justice. That means getting them into the military justice system, ascertaining if they are, in fact enemies, and trying and punishing them if they are.

    Wait… what was that again?

    I support trying people who commit crimes in this county (such as trying to blow up a plane) as criminals in our existing criminal justice system.

    I do not. Nor does history.

    I have never said that terrorism is a law enforcement problem only

    You’ve made your position clear. Allow me the same; Foreign terrorists are NEVER NEVER NEVER the subject of the domestic criminal justice system. What we saw in Detroit is an act of WAR.

    Our criminal justice system is one tool.

    The wrong one for the task.

  48. anjin-san says:

    Wait… what was that again?

    Sorry, I presented a thoughtful position that was not based on slogans. Clearly above your pay grade…

    Allow me the same; Foreign terrorists are NEVER NEVER NEVER the subject of the domestic criminal justice system.

    Guess you forgot about the shoe bomber.

    Beware the slippery slope. Neocons such as yourself cheered with great enthusiasm while Bush and Cheney expanded executive power and eroded checks and balances. Now you are terrified because a President you do not like holds greatly expanded power. In one sense, your fear is well grounded. We have deviated from the intentations of the founding fathers, and that is scary. Power tends to be used, it does not generally sit gathering dust in corner.

    Military tribunals for foreigner’s who commit crimes in the U.S.? What’s the next step? Tribunals for U.S. citizens whom whoever happens to be in power declares to be a terrorist? How about sedition laws? After all, we are at war. Differences of opinion and free speech can hinder the governments agenda.

    If we turned America into a police state tomorrow, with every phone tapped, a camera on every corner and government power to snatch anyone off the street and detain them indefinitely without recourse, we would STILL be venerable to terrorist attacks.

    I dunno bit, maybe you should just stay in bed with the sheets pulled over your head.

  49. anjin-san says:

    I note now as then it was a continuation of Clinton policy.

    Not really. The intelligence community was alarmed about the possibility of a domestic attack by Al Queda in the summer of ’01. A briefer clearly warned Bush that Bin Laden was determined to attack us, and Bush’s response was to snap at him and return to his primary focus, tax cuts for billionaires. Bush could have called in the heads of the CIA, FBI & the Joint Chiefs the next day and said “I am getting worried about this Bin Laden thing, lets make it a top priority”. If there was a continuation of a failed policy, it was because Bush was too lazy or too stupid to make a necessary change.

  50. Eric Florack says:

    Not really. The intelligence community was alarmed about the possibility of a domestic attack by Al Queda in the summer of ’01.

    Before that…

    A 2004 Wall Street Journal article described it thus:

    At issue is the pre-Patriot Act “wall” that prevented communication between intelligence agents and criminal investigators — a wall, Mr. Ashcroft said, that meant “the old national intelligence system in place on September 11 was destined to fail.” The Attorney General explained:

    “In the days before September 11, the wall specifically impeded the investigation into Zacarias Moussaoui, Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. After the FBI arrested Moussaoui, agents became suspicious of his interest in commercial aircraft and sought approval for a criminal warrant to search his computer. The warrant was rejected because FBI officials feared breaching the wall.

    “When the CIA finally told the FBI that al-Midhar and al-Hazmi were in the country in late August, agents in New York searched for the suspects. But because of the wall, FBI headquarters refused to allow criminal investigators who knew the most about the most recent al-Qaeda attack to join the hunt for the suspected terrorists.

    “At that time, a frustrated FBI investigator wrote headquarters, quote, ‘Whatever has happened to this — someday someone will die — and wall or not — the public will not understand why we were not more effective and throwing every resource we had at certain ‘problems.’”

    This was CLINTON polciy… the Gorelick Wall…. which was continued.

    Guess you forgot about the shoe bomber.

    Laughable. That you fall to this nonse sen tells me you can’t defend Obama on the merits of the thing. Is “Bush did it too” going to be left’s defense if Obama responds poorly to a domestic emergency, such as a hurricane?

    I’ve not forgotten about it at all, but then again that argument doesn’t wash. We’re talking, what, three months after 9/11 wherein the systems hadn’t been set up to deal with the situation? How much farther down the road are we now? Remember, we’re not just dealing with individual actors but acts of war on the part of a stateless group. That’s a fact the left dares not deal with for fear of invalidating their politics.

  51. anjin-san says:

    wherein the systems hadn’t been set up to deal with the situation?

    Actually, the system we had in place dealt with the situation. The shoe bomber was tried, convicted and sent to prison to rot. How many incidents of attempted terror attacks have there been since? A lot more planes go down due to pilot error or mechanical failure than because of any terrorist act. Keep in mind that NOTHING we do can completely prevent terrorist attacks, successful or failed. You could have taken the shoe bomber and Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab out on the tarmac and executed them summarily and there would still be others that would try and blow up planes.

    you can’t defend Obama on the merits of the thing.

    He does not need to be defended. People like you are not open to reason, your thinking is driven entirely by ideology. You simply attack, attack, attack and hope to force the other side to play defense. Sometimes it is an interesting way to pass the time, I do like to argue about politics. But your little act becomes tiresome pretty quickly.

  52. Eric Florack says:

    Actually, the system we had in place dealt with the situation.

    Absurd on it’s face, given the object was to contain the terrorists. Explain to me how, given Detroit, for one example of many, the civilian criminal justice system was in ANY way a success in this.

    He does not need to be defended.

    Laughable, and absurd on it’s face. Explain to us, please in what way Obama and his administration has been anything but an abject failure, please, in anything they’ve attempted. Thing is they KNOW they6’re a failure too, which is exactly why we now see them trying to take credit for Bush’s Iraq policy and the resulting victory there.

  53. Eric Florack says:

    This one deserves a breakout:

    You could have taken the shoe bomber and Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab out on the tarmac and executed them summarily and there would still be others that would try and blow up planes.

    Doubtful.
    Never been tried, so how to make such a judgement, hmmm?

  54. anjin-san says:

    Never been tried, so how to make such a judgement, hmmm?

    Do you hrally think a guy who is willing to BLOW HIMSELF UP is going to be all that deterred by the chance he might be shot?

    xplain to us, please in what way

    Like I said, your little act tends to get tiresome quickly. One can only hope you are a more interesting person in real life.

  55. Eric Florack says:

    Do you hrally think a guy who is willing to BLOW HIMSELF UP is going to be all that deterred by the chance he might be shot?

    As a matter of fact, I do. To understand why that’s so, you need to understand why they’re doing it in the first place… what motivates them. Eternal Glory in Heaven… which will not be had should they fail and be shot in ignomy.

    Like I said, your little act tends to get tiresome quickly

    Translation: Anjin has no real answer for the question posed. Which of course is why I posed it. You’re so very easy to back into a corner, Anjin.

    I’ll be off the grid for a bit… a longish trip, which I’ll tell you about when I get back. IN the meantime, do try and work up a response to my question. I’m willing to bet it’ll still be lacking on my return.

  56. anjin-san says:

    Translation: Anjin has no real answer for the question posed. Which of course is why I posed it. You’re so very easy to back into a corner, Anjin.

    I guess you have to take yourself so seriously. Its a pretty safe bet no one else on the planet does. Maybe a long trip will give you time to thing of something more interesting to say than your oh so predictable partisan rants.